Craig Air Force Base - History - World War II

World War II

With the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 training was accelerated to speed the flow of pilots into combat.

In total Craig Field graduated more than 9,000 pilots before the end of the war. Craig Field also saw a number of British Royal Air Force cadets through their training. By 1943, 1,392 RAF cadets had earned their wings at Craig Field. In addition, French and Dutch pilots were trained at Craig Field.

On 8 January 1943, the War Department constituted and activated the 28th Flying Training Wing (Advanced Single-Engine) at Craig and assigned it to the AAF Eastern Flying Training Command.

In November 1943, Craig was selected to give advanced single engine training and Curtiss P-40 transition training to the French. Craig Field also gave training in the Martin B-26 Marauder. Many of these students had formally served in the French North African Army or had left France after the armistice and earned the opportunity to become pilots. At this time, Craig Field was also teaching fighter transition training using the Curtiss P-40. By late 1944, Craig Field was involved in three major areas of training: Advanced-Single Engine pilot training, P-40 Transition training, and a Preflight Program for French students.

During 1945, the training activities at Craig Field continued, but the classes were smaller, because of the need for fewer pilots. With the end of the war in August 1945, came the end of training of American cadets. The training of French students continued through 1945, and was ended in January 1946.

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